Apparently nobody ever told Datarock that new rave was a joke, and a dead one at that. For nearly a decade, Datarock have fused Madchester, late-’70s NYC art-rock, electro-punk, nerdy humor and tracksuits, creating a manic and infectious sound and style. Their latest album, Red, pays even more strident homage to their chosen temporal-sonic muses. The duo made the record using technology that was created before 1983. From a Talking Heads tribute “True Stories” (a lyrical rattling off Heads’ song titles that strangely works, as far as stream-of-consciousness songwriting goes) to a Purple Rain reference in “The Blog,” Red is about as heart-on-sleeve as a band can get acknowledging its influences. The album also finds the enigmatic Norwegians stepping out a bit in their musical name-checking, owing as much to krautrock and Afropop as to the usual litany of post-punk and new-wave heroes. Datarock are very outspoken in their belief that pop culture reached its apex between 1976 and 1983, and their music’s heavy sonic templates lend credence to the concept. Esser and the Party Circuit open at 10 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $10 advance, $12 day of show. — Nicholas Hall
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